El Salvador breaks records at Cup of Excellence

A record breaking ten coffees scored over 90 points at the most recent competition for Cup of Excellence. “This is a feat made even more impressive with the challenges that coffee farmers are facing every day. Climate change has made harvesting and planning much more difficult and raised the cost of production,” indicated Erwin Mierisch, executive director for Cup of Excellence. “El Salvador may be a small country but the farmers have always been at the forefront of quality and innovation and this showed in the scores,” he continued.

Diego Baraona, a 90+ scoring winner in the experimental category explained, “We are extremely proud of this victory for our farm Los Pirineos!  It has been a challenging year for us and good for coffee growing, but this gives us more energy to move forward and overcome all kinds of obstacles. In relation to the contest changes I am very happy with this new type of award ceremony.  I think it is excellent to have categories by process since it allows different coffee profiles to be highlighted and rewarded.”

“Coffee is critical in El Salvador for the environmental services it provides, such as the conservation of flora and fauna, microclimate regulation and water conservation. In social terms, coffee provides employment to nearby communities, explained Mauricio Sansivirini, president of the Salvadoran Coffee Institute. “Regarding water in coffee forests, it infiltrates because it is an agroforestry system which has shade or service trees that allow water infiltration into the aquifers.”

During the final phase of the competition process the international jury, made up of 18 judges repeatedly scored a total of 40 coffees in three categories resulting in 30 of these winning the prestigious Cup of Excellence award. Along with judging the country’s best coffees, the international jurors were treated to a week of immersion with farm visits and a trip to the Boquerón volcano.

The final awards ceremony was especially joyful for Rafael Silva, “Previously we had won awards with family owned farms, but this time it is very different. I managed to obtain two Cup of Excellence awards, including a second place in the first year participating with my own farm- something that I did not even dream of in such a short term. It is a privilege and an honour to have received those awards that represent the hard work and effort of all the people who accompany me on the farm and will also benefit.”

Anticipation will now build for the online auction to be held 18 July 2024 when these exceptional coffees will be sold to the highest bidders from around the world. For samples, regional cuppings and auction information log on to allianceforcoffeeexcellence.org.

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